Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Across Lite For Interactive Crosswords

Across Lite Many crosswords sites provide interactive puzzles in "Across format". This is to explain what the "Across format" is, and how to use it for solving crosswords interactively.

A puzzle in Across format is one that can be viewed and solved interactively with the software Across Lite. You can recognize an Across Lite puzzle by the .PUZ file extension.

What does Across Lite do?

For crossword solvers, Across Lite enables interactive solving. It works for .PUZ crosswords stored on the hard disk as well as crosswords opened directly from the web browser.

How can I use Across Lite?

Once you have installed Across Lite on your computer, any file in Across format will open with a mouse click. To open and solve the crossword, click to launch it with an interactive screen.

Show Me An Example

An example of a puzzle opened with Across Lite:

Economic Times Puzzle in Across Lite format

One of its interesting features is the Pen/Pencil tool. You can write in your answers with a Pen if you're confident, and a lighter-coloured Pencil if in doubt.

Other features include the facility to resize the grid, change the position of clue prompt, print the puzzle, etc. There are also Check/Reveal options, which get enabled if the crossword publisher has provided solutions with the puzzle.

Where can I get Across Lite?

Across Lite is owned by Literate Software Systems, and can be downloaded from here: Download Across Lite.

The installation is simple and quick, and is free for non-commercial use.

Related Posts/Links:

If you wish to keep track of further articles on Crossword Unclued, you can subscribe to it in a reader via RSS Feed. You can also subscribe by email and have articles delivered to your inbox.

9 comments

Shyam said...

Can you cite some sites which provide puzzles in this format?

Chaturvasi said...

While putting a puzzle in this format, if one wishes to restrict the revelation of the solution, he can do so.
But puzzles put up online generally do not restrict the solution.
You needn't solve the puzzle at all. Drop down to Reveal Solution -Entire and the complete solution will appear.
Nothing surprising there. But what is surprising is that a congratulatory message will appear and you can pat yourself on the back.

Chaturvasi said...

To add to the above comment, no crossword can be put in AcrossLite format without the solution, whether its revelation is enabled or disabled.

Shuchi said...

@Shyam: Many American puzzles use in Across Lite format, notably the New York Times crossword.

@Chaturvasi: The congratulatory message took me by surprise, I saw live proof of it today when testing it before writing this post.

no crossword can be put in AcrossLite format without the solution: Is it so? I recall the crossword club at Orkut had templates for converting the current day's ET puzzle into Across format. In the template, as far as I know the solutions were not available, only the clues. Even ques#5 on this page suggests that it's possible for the puzzle to be created without the solutions. I'll check on this again.

Dsylexic said...

ah acrosslite.its been 10 years since i've used it! reminds me of the the days when Time (uk) was a free crossword and they had it in acrosslite format.i remember dec 25 1999 crossword with lots of charles dickens related clues!

Shuchi said...

Hello Dsylexic.

...days when Time (uk) was a free crossword and they had it in acrosslite format: This is news to me...thank you!

Chaturvasi said...

I recall the crossword club at Orkut had templates for converting the current day's ET puzzle into Across format. In the template, as far as I know the solutions were not available, only the clues.

The program writer would have used some letter such as A or X or even a question mark in the slots instead of the real solutions. (It is in such cases that the human intelligence masters the machine intelligence.)

If the program writer had not taken care to restrict the solution, the reveal or check button will be useless.

Chaturvasi said...

I don't remember that The Times crossword was ever available in AcrossLite format.
Yes, the paper did have an interactive version and I too used it occasionally in the late 1990s when the paper's crossword was available for free.
But it was very clunky: each time you put in a solution and pressed the Enter button, the page would refresh itself!
Only persons with monumental patience would have regularly used the interactive version.

Shuchi said...

The program writer would have used some letter such as A or X or even a question mark in the slots instead of the real solutions.

You're right! I asked the program writer about this, he has confirmed that that's the way this was done.

Only persons with monumental patience would have regularly used the interactive version.

The interactive version is pretty good now. Except that login session times out too quickly, I have no complaints.